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A Poor man’s Aladdin!
Genre: Musical
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser
Produced By: Paul Michael Glaser
Scott Kroopf
Bob Engelman
Written By: Paul Michael Glaser
Christian Ford
Roger Soffer
Starring: Shaquille O'Neal
Francis Capra
Ally Walker
James Acheson
Cinematography: Charles Minsky
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: July 17, 1996
Runtime: 94 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $20 million
Box Office: $18.9 million

Kazaam is a 1996 American fantasy musical comedy film directed by Paul Michael Glaser and stars Shaquille O'Neal as the title character Kazaam.


While on the run from some bullies, a middle school student named Max enters an abandoned building to lose the bullies. While in the building he discovers a boombox that a genie resides in after his lamp fell into it by a wrecking ball. Max unleashes Kazaam, who is now his genie.

Why It Feels Like an Aladdin Rip-off

  1. Poor acting, especially from Shaquille O'Neal (who plays Kazaam).
  2. Poor rapping that sounds more like rhyming instead of rapping.
  3. On the topic of the rap songs in this film, they tend to come out of nowhere and go on too long.
  4. The lyrics are really laughable and make no sense, such as We Genie's "Those babies had rabies, and we was in Hades."
  5. Awful visual effects, including the scene where Kazaam turns Malik into a basketball that's fake looking.
  6. Somewhat misleading title. While Kazaam is the central character of the film, he's the not main character, the real main character is Max.
    • On that topic, Max is a bratty, unlikable protagonist, who is nothing more than your typical bullied kid.
  7. In the scene were Kazaam sings a rap in Max's father's hide out, He sings out a very ironic line: Let's Green Egg and Ham it! (a reference to the Dr Seuss book "Green Eggs and Ham"), that line felt way too forced and has nothing to do with rap or the whole film in general.
  8. Malik is obviously the main villain, however he is pretty pointless as he doesn't even appear until halfway in the movie.
  9. Some scenes are very confusing, an example would be the scene when Max sees his father getting beaten up by Malik and his minions, he gets to Kazaam for help by magically appearing in a glass of water that Kazaam was drinking, pops out of the glass and appears on a table with no logic reason whatsoever.
  10. A very unfair ending where Kazaam is happy that he's free, only to be told by his girlfriend that he needs a job.
  11. Unlikeable characters like Max's bullies who are never seen or get there comeuppances.
  12. Product placements throughout the film, such as Pepsi products.
  13. The scenes with Kazaam are creepy and come off as pedophilia.
  14. There is an inconsistency around the age of Kazaam, with his origin song suggesting he became a genie in 1000 BC, making him about 3000 years old. But he says numerous times in the end he is 5000 years old.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. Some scenes can be pretty heartwarming, such as Kazaam giving Max's father another chance at life.


The film was released on July 17, 1996 with generally unfavorable reviews. The film currently holds a 5% "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 3.2 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Crafted from a mix of genre clichés, Kazaam doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be, and Shaq's larger-than-life charisma is stifled by rote filmmaking and an unimaginative story." Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune awarded the film a 1 out of 4 stars and stated in his review that the film was "marketing, not moviemaking." and Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a 1.5 out of 4 stars and stated in his review "As for Shaquille O'Neal, given his own three wishes the next time, he should go for a script, a director and an interesting character."

Box Office

The film was released on July 17, 1996 and was both a critical disaster and a box office bomb, barely grossing $19 million on its $20 million budget.


  • The film is referenced in the 2000 film Scary Movie, when Ghostface asks Drew Decker what her favorite horror movie is.
  • Final film to be directed by Paul Michael Glaser.


External links


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